The Duties of the Levite Clan of Kohath
4 The Lord told Moses 2 to take a census of the Levite clan of Kohath by subclans and families, 3 and to register all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the Lord's presence. 4 Their service involves the most holy things.
5 The Lord gave Moses the following instructions. When it is time to break camp, Aaron and his sons shall enter the Tent, take down the curtain in front of the Covenant Box, and cover the Box with it. 6 They shall put a fine leather cover over it, spread a cloth of solid blue on top, and then insert the carrying poles.
7 They shall spread a blue cloth over the table for the bread offered to the Lord and put on it the dishes, the incense bowls, the offering bowls, and the jars for the wine offering. There shall always be bread on the table. 8 They shall spread a red cloth over all of this, put a fine leather cover over it, and then insert the carrying poles.
9 They shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand, with its lamps, tongs, trays, and all the olive oil containers. 10 They shall wrap it and all its equipment in a fine leather cover and place it on a carrying frame.
11 Next they shall spread a blue cloth over the gold altar, put a fine leather cover over it, and then insert the carrying poles. 12 They shall take all the utensils used in the Holy Place, wrap them in a blue cloth, put a fine leather cover over them, and place them on a carrying frame. 13 They shall remove the greasy ashes from the altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 They shall put on it all the equipment used in the service at the altar: fire pans, hooks, shovels, and basins. Then they shall put a fine leather cover over it and insert the carrying poles. 15 When it is time to break camp, the clan of Kohath shall come to carry the sacred objects only after Aaron and his sons have finished covering them and all their equipment. The Kohath clan must not touch the sacred objects, or they will die.
These are the responsibilities of the Kohath clan whenever the Tent is moved.
16 Eleazar son of Aaron the priest shall be responsible for the whole Tent and for the oil for the lamps, the incense, the grain offerings, the anointing oil, and everything else in the Tent that has been consecrated to the Lord.
17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 “Do not let the clan of Kohath 19 be killed by coming near these most sacred objects. To prevent this from happening, Aaron and his sons shall go in and assign each man his task and tell him what to carry. 20 But if the Kohathites enter the Tent and see the priests preparing the sacred objects for moving,[a] they will die.”
The Duties of the Levite Clan of Gershon
21 The Lord told Moses 22 to take a census of the Levite clan of Gershon by subclans and families, 23 and to register all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the Lord's presence. 24 They shall be responsible for carrying the following objects: 25 the Tent, its inner cover, its outer cover, the fine leather cover on top of it, the curtain for the entrance, 26 the curtains and ropes for the court that is around the Tent and the altar, the curtains for the entrance of the court, and all the fittings used in setting up these objects. They shall perform all the tasks required for these things. 27 Moses and Aaron shall see to it that the Gershonites perform all the duties and carry everything that Aaron and his sons assign to them. 28 These are the responsibilities of the Gershon clan in the Tent; they shall carry them out under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.
The Duties of the Levite Clan of Merari
29 The Lord told Moses to take a census of the Levite clan of Merari by subclans and families, 30 and to register all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the Lord's presence. 31 They shall be responsible for carrying the frames, bars, posts, and bases of the Tent, 32 and the posts, bases, pegs, and ropes of the court around the Tent, with all the fittings used in setting them up. Each man will be responsible for carrying specific items. 33 These are the responsibilities of the Merari clan in their service in the Tent; they shall carry them out under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.
The Census of the Levites
34-48 Following the Lord's command, Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the community took a census of the three Levite clans, Kohath, Gershon, and Merari. They did this by subclans and families and registered all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who were qualified to work in the Tent of the Lord's presence, as follows:
49 Each man was registered as the Lord had commanded Moses; and at the command of the Lord given through Moses, each man was assigned responsibility for his task of serving or carrying.
5 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the people of Israel to expel from the camp everyone with a dreaded skin disease or a bodily discharge and everyone who is unclean by contact with a corpse. 3 Send all these ritually unclean people out, so that they will not defile the camp, where I live among my people.” 4 The Israelites obeyed and expelled them all from the camp.
Repayment for Wrongs Done
5 (A)The Lord gave Moses 6 the following instructions for the people of Israel. When any of you are unfaithful to the Lord and commit a wrong against someone, 7 you must confess your sin and make full repayment, plus an additional 20 percent, to the person you have wronged. 8 But if that person has died and has no near relative to whom payment can be made, it shall be given to the Lord for the priest. This payment is in addition to the ram used to perform the ritual of purification for the guilty person. 9 Also every special contribution which the Israelites offer to the Lord belongs to the priest to whom they present it. 10 Each priest shall keep the offerings presented to him.
Cases of Wives with Suspicious Husbands
11 The Lord commanded Moses 12-14 to give the Israelites the following instructions. It may happen that a man becomes suspicious that his wife is unfaithful to him and has defiled herself by having intercourse with another man. But the husband may not be certain, for his wife may have kept it secret—there was no witness, and she was not caught in the act. Or it may happen that a husband becomes suspicious of his wife, even though she has not been unfaithful. 15 In either case the man shall take his wife to the priest. He shall also take the required offering of two pounds of barley flour, but he shall not pour any olive oil on it or put any incense on it, because it is an offering from a suspicious husband, made to bring the truth to light.
16 The priest shall bring the woman forward and have her stand in front of the altar. 17 He shall pour some holy water into a clay bowl and take some of the earth that is on the floor of the Tent of the Lord's presence and put it in the water to make it bitter. 18 Then he shall loosen the woman's hair and put the offering of flour in her hands. In his hands the priest shall hold the bowl containing the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall make the woman agree to this oath spoken by the priest: “If you have not committed adultery, you will not be harmed by the curse that this water brings. 20 But if you have committed adultery, 21 may the Lord make your name a curse among your people. May he cause your genital organs to shrink and your stomach to swell up. 22 May this water enter your stomach and cause it to swell up and your genital organs to shrink.”
The woman shall respond, “I agree; may the Lord do so.”
23 Then the priest shall write this curse down and wash the writing off into the bowl of bitter water. 24 Before he makes the woman drink the water, which may then cause her bitter pain, 25 the priest shall take the offering of flour out of the woman's hands, hold it out in dedication to the Lord, and present it on the altar. 26 Then he shall take a handful of it as a token offering and burn it on the altar. Finally, he shall make the woman drink the water. 27 If she has committed adultery, the water will cause bitter pain; her stomach will swell up and her genital organs will shrink. Her name will become a curse among her people. 28 But if she is innocent, she will not be harmed and will be able to bear children.
29-30 This is the law in cases where a man is jealous and becomes suspicious that his wife has committed adultery. The woman shall be made to stand in front of the altar, and the priest shall perform this ritual. 31 The husband shall be free of guilt, but the woman, if guilty, must suffer the consequences.
- Numbers 4:20 see … moving; or see the sacred objects even for a moment.
The Question about Rising from Death(A)
18 (B)Then some Sadducees, who say that people will not rise from death, came to Jesus and said, 19 (C)“Teacher, Moses wrote this law for us: ‘If a man dies and leaves a wife but no children, that man's brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man's children.’ 20 Once there were seven brothers; the oldest got married and died without having children. 21 Then the second one married the woman, and he also died without having children. The same thing happened to the third brother, 22 and then to the rest: all seven brothers married the woman and died without having children. Last of all, the woman died. 23 Now, when all the dead rise to life on the day of resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven of them had married her.”
24 Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! And do you know why? It is because you don't know the Scriptures or God's power. 25 For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 26 (D)Now, as for the dead being raised: haven't you ever read in the Book of Moses the passage about the burning bush? There it is written that God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 27 He is the God of the living, not of the dead. You are completely wrong!”
The Great Commandment(E)
28 A teacher of the Law was there who heard the discussion. He saw that Jesus had given the Sadducees a good answer, so he came to him with a question: “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 (F)Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 (G)The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.”
32 (H)The teacher of the Law said to Jesus, “Well done, Teacher! It is true, as you say, that only the Lord is God and that there is no other god but he. 33 (I)And you must love God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength; and you must love your neighbor as you love yourself. It is more important to obey these two commandments than to offer on the altar animals and other sacrifices to God.”
34 (J)Jesus noticed how wise his answer was, and so he told him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
After this nobody dared to ask Jesus any more questions.
The Question about the Messiah(K)
35 As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he asked the question, “How can the teachers of the Law say that the Messiah will be the descendant of David? 36 (L)The Holy Spirit inspired David to say:
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit here at my right side
until I put your enemies under your feet.’
37 David himself called him ‘Lord’; so how can the Messiah be David's descendant?”
Jesus Warns against the Teachers of the Law(M)
A large crowd was listening to Jesus gladly.
- Mark 12:29 The Lord our God is the only Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
- Mark 12:18 : Matt 22:23-Matt 22:33; Luke 20:27-Luke 20:40
- Mark 12:18 : Acts 23:8
- Mark 12:19 : Deut 25:5
- Mark 12:26 : Exod 3:6
- Mark 12:28 : Matt 22:34-Matt 22:40; Luke 10:25-Luke 10:28
- Mark 12:29 : Deut 6:4; Deut 6:5
- Mark 12:31 : Lev 19:18
- Mark 12:32 : Deut 4:35
- Mark 12:33 : Hos 6:6
- Mark 12:34 : Luke 10:25-Luke 10:28
- Mark 12:35 : Matt 22:41-Matt 22:46; Luke 20:41-Luke 20:44
- Mark 12:36 : Ps 110:1
- Mark 12:37 : Matt 23:1-Matt 23:36; Luke 20:45-Luke 20:47
Zion, the City of God[a]
48 The Lord is great and is to be highly praised
in the city of our God, on his sacred hill.[b]
2 (A)Zion, the mountain of God, is high and beautiful;
the city of the great king brings joy to all the world.
3 God has shown that there is safety with him
inside the fortresses of the city.
4 The kings gathered together
and came to attack Mount Zion.
5 But when they saw it, they were amazed;
they were afraid and ran away.
6 There they were seized with fear and anguish,
like a woman about to bear a child,
7 like ships tossing in a furious storm.
8 We have heard what God has done,
and now we have seen it
in the city of our God, the Lord Almighty;
he will keep the city safe forever.
9 Inside your Temple, O God,
we think of your constant love.
10 You are praised by people everywhere,
and your fame extends over all the earth.
You rule with justice;
11 let the people of Zion be glad!
You give right judgments;
let there be joy in the cities of Judah!
12 People of God, walk around Zion and count the towers;
13 take notice of the walls and examine the fortresses,
so that you may tell the next generation:
14 “This God is our God forever and ever;
he will lead us for all time to come.”
26 Never get a lazy person to do something for you; he will be as irritating as vinegar on your teeth or smoke in your eyes.